Proposal to amalgamate Wavell Infant and Junior Schools in Catterick to create a single 3-11 primary school on both school sites (to be known as Wavell Community Primary School)

Through the technical closure of Wavell Community Junior School and the enlargement and change of age range of Catterick Garrison, Wavell Community Infant School with effect from 8 April 2024.

Proposal to amalgamate Wavell Community Infant and Junior Schools from 8 April 2024

Wavell Community Infant and Wavell Community Junior Schools are currently separate schools. Most children progress from the Infant School to the Junior School at the end of Key Stage 1. This creates a transition point which can have an effect on children’s progress. 

The schools work together in a Federation and this arrangement has ensured that good practice in both schools is shared. Wavell Federation’s Governors have agreed that amalgamating the schools to create an all-through primary school is the next logical step to take. The single primary school would continue to work across both school buildings.

Wavell Federation’s Governing Body and North Yorkshire Council have agreed to consult stakeholders on a proposal to create a single primary school serving children aged 3 to 11, from 8 April 2024. This amalgamated school would be created by the enlargement and change of age range of Wavell Community Infant School and the associated technical closure of Wavell Community Junior School. 

It is proposed that the two schools will amalgamate from 8 April 2024 and that the newly amalgamated school will be called Wavell Community Primary School.

Please take time to look at the proposals, and then send us your views by the closing date on 21 July 2023. We look forward to hearing from you.

There was a public meeting on:

Thursday 22 June 2023 at 6pm at Wavell Community Infant School, Wavell Road, Catterick Garrison, DL9 3BJ.

Current Position

The Wavell Community Schools Federation brings together the governance of two schools in Catterick Garrison, Wavell Community Infant and Wavell Community Junior Schools, as a single governing body responsible for both schools. Wavell Infant is an age 3-7 school, and Wavell Junior is a 7-11 school, and an Executive Headteacher works across both schools.

The schools share the same catchment area and serve families living in the northern side of Catterick Garrison, around Hipswell. Both schools are on one site and their buildings are now physically connected by a recently constructed corridor

Most pupils transfer from the infant to the junior school at age 7, and parents are required to make a school admissions application in advance of this transfer. 

The Proposal

It is proposed that an all-through primary school, serving children aged 3-11, would be created by the enlargement and change of age range of Wavell Community Infant School and the associated technical closure of Wavell Community Junior School. The all-through primary school would continue to operate over the same school site and buildings and serve the same catchment area as the Infant and Junior Schools.

The proposed name for the single school is Wavell Community Primary School.

This change would take place from 8 April 2024.

Why are we proposing change now?

We believe that the proposed change will benefit children by building on the work of the Federation which is already in place, and address issues that we have described below:

The current concerns

Wavell Community Infant School was judged to be Good in 2017 and again when recently inspected by Ofsted in July 2022. The inspectors said staff ‘have high expectations of what pupils can achieve’ and pupils in the Infant School are keen to meet those expectations.

Wavell Community Junior School was judged Requires Improvement (RI) by Ofsted both in 2018 and again following their inspection in 2021. As a consequence of been judged as RI at two consecutive inspections, the Department for Education (DfE) is able to apply new powers to intervene in schools that are deemed as ‘not making necessary improvements’. The DfE has indicated their intention to issue the Junior School with an order which would direct the school to become an academy.

If the proposed amalgamation proceeds, enabling the two schools to become one school, there would be a single Ofsted inspection in future and the Ofsted judgement for the expanded Infant School would be retained. The current Ofsted judgement for the Junior School, and the DfE’s powers of intervention attached to it, would no longer be applicable after amalgamation.

Pupils transfer from the infant to the junior school between Key Stages 1 and 2. It is recognised there can be a drop in children’s progress at times of transition between Key Stages. This is even more marked when the transition coincides with a transfer between two schools.

Under the current Ofsted framework, where performance is a critical factor, the drop in performance following transition makes it harder for the junior school to represent itself positively in an Ofsted inspection and, partly because of these concerns, a number of other infant and junior schools have amalgamated in recent years.

It is considered that an amalgamated school would deliver a smoother transition between Key Stages and help to ensure that the good progress made by children at Key Stage 1 is maintained and built upon at Key Stage 2. 


Children who transfer between the infant and junior schools and then a secondary school (such as Risedale) experience two transition points. It is recognised that a transition can interrupt and slow down children’s progress, and so multiple transfers are not to the advantage of children. Creating an all-through primary school would reduce the number of school transfers. 

The schools already work together very closely to minimise the impact on pupils of this transfer between schools but creating an all-through primary school would deliver a smoother transition between Key Stages. Pupils would remain within the same overall school structure. Teachers would also be better able to plan for the change and develop a better understanding of the needs of pupils in different key stages.

Learning and progress

It is felt that learning and progress can be even better if the two schools come together as a single school. The expertise of staff currently in the schools could be better targeted across the full age range and across all key stages to raise standards, and the single school would have fully integrated arrangements for the assessment of learning, including recording of progress. A future single school would have one Ofsted inspection which would allow a judgement to be made on the provision for all children through the primary age range.

The career opportunities offered in a 3-11 school would be more attractive to applicants when staffing vacancies arise in the future and would therefore attract the best applicants.

Parents would be able to see the whole school offer through to age 11 when they are making their decision to apply for a primary school place for their child, and so be able to make a more informed decision. Parents could also apply for a place at any alternative primary school. 

What would the amalgamated school look like?

The single school would continue to operate in the same buildings and in the short term it would appear to be much the same for pupils. However, in the future the pupils and staff would come together and operate from a single curriculum.

The amalgamated school would be a community school and would continue to be funded and supported by the local authority with staff employed by the local authority. Admissions to the school would continue to be managed by the local authority in accordance with its admission policy for community schools.

The school’s catchment area around Hipswell would remain the same as would eligibility for home to school transport under the Council’s policy. Most pupils in both schools come from service families and the single primary school would continue to have strong ties to the military community on Catterick Garrison and to serve service families.

Should amalgamation proceed it would no longer be necessary for parents to apply for a transfer from key stage 1 to key stage 2. Children currently attending Wavell Junior School would automatically be provided with a place in the amalgamated school. 

A re-constituted governing body together with the existing Executive Headteacher would lead the amalgamated school. 


The two schools already share the same site and car park, with a school kitchen serving both schools. A corridor connects the infant and junior school buildings and there is a common reception point for parents. 


School budgets are funded largely by pupil numbers so amalgamating the schools would not lead to an increase in revenue funding. The combined revenue funding would be smaller because the lump-sum would cease for the Junior School following amalgamation, although transitional funding will be provided during the initial period of the amalgamation. Transitional funding protection arrangements allow for both lump-sums to be retained from the point of amalgamation for the remainder of the financial year that amalgamation takes place and provide 85% of the two lump-sums received in the next financial year.

Based on the amalgamation taking effect on 8 April 2024 (Easter 2024), the table below seeks to show, other things being equal, the retention of lump sums for that financial year and the amalgamated school retaining 85% of their lump sums for the financial year 2025/26.

Financial Year Infant School Lump-sum (£k) Junior School Lump-sum (£k) Amalgamated School Lump-sum (£k)^ Total Lump-sum (£k)
2023-24 128 128   256
2024-25 128 128 - 256
2025-26     217.6 217.6
2026-27     128 128

Figures may change as a consequence of any changes in DfE’s National Funding Formula.

Wavell Federation’s combined accounts would need to be split so that that the Infant school’s budget is retained and the Junior school’s accounts would be closed-down and deficit withdrawn. Separately, and in addition to this school organisation proposal, the Wavell Community Schools Federation are considering options to improve their financial position.

Pupil numbers

There are 105 pupils of mainstream school age at Wavell Infant Community Primary School (excluding nursery pupils) and 165 pupils at Wavell Community Junior School. The pupil numbers in each year group are set out below:

Year Wavell Infant Wavell Junior Total
Reception 44    
Year 1 22    
Year 2 39    
Year 3   34  
Year 4   46  
Year 5   42  
Year 6   43  
Total 105 not including 31 fte nursery pupils. 165 270 as of May 2023

The amalgamated school has a net capacity of 420 places and as such, it would have space to accommodate the combined 3-11 cohort. It is considered, as described below, that the capacity of the amalgamated school will be sufficient to provide the required number of pupil places for the foreseeable future, including any pupils generated by expected new housing.

Admission number

The published admission number (PAN) is the number of school places that must be offered in the Reception year. As part of the amalgamation proposals, it is proposed to decrease the published admission number of Wavell Community Infant School from 72 to 60, and this would be the future published admission number of the newly amalgamated school.

Wavell Community Infant School is not fully subscribed for reception entry in 2023/24 continuing the trend of recent years, and this is also the case for the majority of local schools.

As the published admission number of the amalgamated primary school will be 60, there will be a small overall reduction in mainstream primary school places across the Garrison. Detailed information on school forecasts is provided on the consultation section of the North Yorkshire Council website but the following is a summary of that forecast information:

Analysis looking at Wavell Infants and Juniors and their three neighboring garrison schools (Le Cateau, Cambrai, and Carnagill) shows that total rolls have fallen by 86 pupils (1038-952) between 16/17 and 22/23, and also projects a further fall to a total of 854 pupils in 32/33, reflecting a declining birth rate.

Widening the analysis to also include a further four Catterick area schools (Colburn, Hipswell, Michael Syddall and Bolton-on-Swale) shows a current prediction that the total number of pupils for this larger group of schools will fall by 269 (1653-1384) between 22/23 and 32/33 (excluding housing impacts).

Using projections for additional pupils from expected new housing (based on the methodology of one additional primary aged child from every four new dwellings that currently have planning approval) indicates 210 additional pupils could be realised from a total of 840 dwellings over 10 years. This shows that the additional pupils expected from housing will not compensate for the underlying demographic trend and so, overall, there is a predicted fall in pupil rolls for the short and medium term.

This change in local school rolls, the future projections, including an assessment of impacts from housing, and the current under-subscription all provide confidence that reducing the PAN to 60 will not be detrimental to school place sufficiency in the local area. However, we are consulting on this aspect of the proposal and ask for your view in the response form.


A separate consultation process, including a staff meeting, is running in parallel with this consultation.

Who are we consulting?

Copies of this consultation document have been sent to all parents of pupils at Wavell Infant School and Wavell Junior School and to staff at the two schools. It has also been distributed to neighbouring schools, councillors, parish councils, professional associations and the local MP.

Your views are important and your response to the consultation will be published on North Yorkshire Council’s website to inform the decision-making process. Your personal details, and those of others you may refer to, will not be published.

What happens next?

If the decision is taken to consult further, then statutory notices would be published in the local press. These notices, alongside the required statutory proposals, would provide four weeks for further representations to be made. A final decision would then be taken by North Yorkshire Council’s Executive and, if agreed, the schools would amalgamate from 8 April 2024.

Anticipated key dates

All dates are subject to approvals at each stage.

Event Date
Consultation opens 8 June 2023
Public meeting at the school 22 June 2023
Consultation closes 21 July 2023
North Yorkshire Council’s executive considers consultation response 22 August 2023
Statutory Notices published (4 weeks for representations to be made) 11 September to 9 October 2023
Final decision by North Yorkshire Council’s executive council’s executive 17 October or 7 November 2023
Proposed date from which Wavell Junior School would technically close, and the newly named amalgamated school would begin to operate. 7 April 2024 and 8 April 2024